Wednesday, 2 February 2011

My Birth Right

I always knew I was special. It wasn’t just a childish illusion, I knew.
As if to prove the point my father said that there was a banner hanging outside the hospital where I was born which read ‘Louise Jack was born here’. So it wasn’t just me who knew, it was everyone who passed Stamford Hospital and saw those words as a dedication to my birth place.
It all seemed utterly reasonable. Plaques were erected to the likes of Dickens, Kings, Peter Pan. I’d seen a statue of a black horse in London with a warrior raising his sword.
It all made sense considering when my school needed someone to open the yearly fete one of my parents would be asked. We lived in the biggest house in the village, why couldn’t I be famous before I was even born.
It was with such delight (and silent excitement) when we went on a trip to Stamford. I would actually get to see my banner. I remember sitting in the back of the car, waving at people in the street, they would smile back.
We motored through winding lanes, passed churches with towering steeples. And then we turned a corner and my father said – proudly, ‘This is where you were born.’ My banner! My banner! There was a long stone wall and I looked and I looked and... It was just a wall, no banners, no words.
‘Where’s my banner?’ I asked.
My father didn’t miss a beat. ‘They took it down yesterday.’
How unreasonable. They took it down the day before I arrived!
Sadly I never got to see my banner, some would argue that it never existed, but for many years, I felt robbed that day and for many years to come!

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